U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today $30 million in funding for a second round of Promise Neighborhoods grants to be divided between a new set of planning grants and implementation grants. The Education Department plans to announce the application process in the coming weeks, which will be available to eligible applicants-non-profits, institutions of higher education and Indian tribes -- and include a 60-day deadline from the date the application is released. Winners will be selected no later than Dec. 31. This second round of Promise Neighborhoods funding was made available through the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, passed by Congress on April 21.
The U.S. Department of Education launched the Promise Neighborhoods program in April 2010 as the first federal initiative to put education at the center of comprehensive efforts to fight poverty in urban and rural areas. That year, the Department awarded $10 million to 21 applicants for their efforts to support one year planning of cradle-to-career services designed to improve educational outcomes for students in distressed neighborhoods. The Department received 339 applications from more than 300 communities across 48 states and the District of Columbia. In September, 21 grants of up to $500,000 were awarded to nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education working throughout a diverse set of communities, including major metropolitan areas, small and medium-size cities, rural areas, and one Indian reservation.
“This program recognizes that a strong school is the center of a strong community and by working together to meet the larger social challenges outside the classroom we enable children to succeed inside the classroom,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “It’s vital that we continue this important work and provide more of our disadvantaged communities with resources that combat poverty and provide a high-quality education and essential social services for our children and families who need them the most.”
Today’s announcement was made during remarks by Secretary Duncan at the D.C. Promise Neighborhood Initiative (DCPNI) town hall held at Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools (CCPCS) for Public Policy’s Parkside Campus in Washington D.C. CCPCS is one of the 21 grantees awarded a Promise Neighborhood planning grant last fall. Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, America’s Promise Alliance’s Chair Alma Powell and several DCPNI representatives joined Duncan for a presentation and discussion on the Promise Neighborhoods program.
The U.S. Department of Education proposed $150 million for the Promise Neighborhoods program in the Department’s fiscal year 2012 budget. s a program aimed at revitalizing communities in need, the Promise Neighborhoods program is part of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, a cross-agency effort that includes the White House Domestic Policy Council; the U.S. Departments of Education; Health and Human Services; Housing and Urban Development; Justice; and Treasury and seeks to transform neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into neighborhoods of opportunity.